HER BIGGEST FAN
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Alfred Hitchcock Presents The Waxwork
A writer must spend a night in a wax museum’s murderer’s gallery to make good a gambling debt knowingly paid with a bad check to a testy Englishman. The museum’s owner is so obsessed with the accuracy of his replicas, he’s as scary as they are. Especially to a
US magazine writer who’s already facing deportation or a stretch in a gaol. London
Alfred Hitchcock Presents also known as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour aired on television (1955-1965) on NBC and CBS and was viewed in black and white. As a young and impressionable child, the 30 minute broadcast chilled me to the bone.
They say pictures paint a thousand words because of the unforgettable impression they sketch. The beginning of each episode painted a very vivid picture in my mind. It began with the camera fading in on a simple line drawing caricature of Hitchcock’s rotund profile. As the program’s theme music
Charles Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette played, Hitchcock appeared in silhouette from the right edge of the screen, and then walked to center screen to eclipse the caricature.
Other than imagery, auditory hallucinations sketch pictures in our heads. Music sets the scene. Think about a scary movie. Right before a murder or something dangerous, the chilling music clues us in and has our hearts racing. When I wrote Her Biggest Fan, a romantic suspense set in stormy
New England, I chose Moonlight Sonata to haunt the reader. As you read, you’ll swear you can hear the eerie spiking of piano keys because I have planted them in your head.
Visualizing the wax figures in Hitchcock’s thriller, I created wax gargoyles with wings as props in the ballroom.
Here’s a little teaser. Do you sense the danger? Feel the music crawl beneath your skin?
Tess stood at the entrance, polarized. Goose bumps prickled her flesh. When the icy instrumental of Moonlight Sonata started all over again, she took a step back and gasped. Peering into the massive hall, she stared in disbelief.
On either side of the mahogany bar, standing candelabras gleamed, long white tapers flickering in the dark. Open terrace doors banged in the wind, bringing in the pouring rain. The air carried the mingled scent of jasmine and stale tobacco. Pleated silk drapes billowed out like wings.
Rain puddled the cherry wood floor that once sparkled beneath the mirrored ceiling and crystal chandelier. The ghostly sound of piano keys escalated as Moonlight Sonata played on the old Victrola. And in the center of the room, looking for all the world like guests of honor at a grand masquerade, two wax gargoyles danced cheek to cheek, costumed in feather masks as bizarre as the setting.
HER BIGGEST FAN
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A few months ago, I held an Alfred Hitchcock contest, asking the following questions
What's your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie of all times?
Which actress in today's
do you picture playing the role of the perfect femme fatale? Hollywood
Who do you see playing the role of Tess?
Witchy Woman won and here’s what she had to say.
"It's so hard to pick a favorite, as I'm a huge Hitchcock fan, but I'll have to go with Psycho; besides all the wonderful reasons that people list (and they're all true!), it was the first Hitchcock movie that I ever saw.....and you always have a special place in your heart for your first....:)
Angelina Jolie would do a great job, I think....she's more than proved that she isn't
just another pretty face...."
I see Tess as having a Claire Danes kind of face, if that makes sense....
Considered the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock made 53 films in his 54 year career. For a chance to win a Vertigo Collector’s Edition DVD, try your luck on the trivia quiz. In honor of The Master’s birthday, winner will be announced on August 13th. Good luck!
1. Name all three films that Grace Kelly starred in
2. What was the name of Hitchcock’s first American made film?
3. In which of Hitchcock’s famed cameo appearance does he wear a cowboy hat?
4. What year was The Birds produced?
5. Which model made her debut in The Birds?
6. Who starred in Dial M for Murder, both the male and female leading roles?
7. Name Hitchcock’s first color film
8. Who played in Torn Curtain?
9. Who played Marion Crane in the 1960 original Psycho?
10. How many films did Jimmy Stewart star in?
11. What color did Kim Novak object to wear in Vertigo?
12. What was the name of the restaurant that Scotti first sees Madeline in Vertigo?
Please send answers to
and put Hitch trivia in subject line